How to take Beautiful Landscape Images During the Winter Seasonal Transition Period

Apr 27, 2021

If nature could speak a human language, I think the conversation would go something like this, "Well, winter, I tried, but you are just too cold. The past few months have been an icy ride, but I think it's time to move on from your frozen grasp and embrace something a little warmer. Your icy hold on me is ruining my pristine reflection, so I think it's time for us to part ways and begin our break-up!"

It's break-up season here in the Canadian Rockies. Last year, I didn't get to enjoy the short season of ice slabs and melt due to the COVID-19 Health Pandemic restrictions, so I hope to make the most out of this season, this year, with social distance, of course. 

However, it can be challenging to find visually pleasing scenes this time of year. With the absence of freshly fallen snow, footprints and tracks can be left in a half-melted scene, chunks of ice are often dirty with the melt, and human impact can destroy icy features interfering with the hope for visually untouched aesthetics. 

Blue hour is the period of time before sunrise and after sunset and lasts about a half-hour. Blue hour is a beautiful period of time for the landscape photographer. Still, it's sometimes overlooked, especially when one is busy preparing and waiting for sunrise or following the drama after sunset.

ISO 100, 14mm, f9, 69sec

However, during blue hour, the deepened blue light softens details and can hide some of the unsightly side-effects during landscape break-up season. Dirt, unsightly winter melt and human impact aren't as noticeable in low light. Plus, I think the soft and quiet mood during the blue hour works exceptionally well with the break-up transition period. Break-ups always leave us feeling a little blue! 

If you are heading out to capture landscape images in the next few weeks, arrive at your scene a little earlier than usual or make an effort to stay slightly later. Attempt a few images during the blue hour. I think you'll love the results!